Blackbird by writer/director Jason Buxton, Chester
Blackbird, released in 2012, is Jason Buxton’s first feature-length dramatic film. Dealing with issues of youth violence, bullying and social media, it tells the story of Sean, an apparent outsider who is accused of planning a school shooting. In a manner that is honest and unromantic, the film peels away layers to reveal Sean not as the villain he first appears but as someone caught up in a web. Blackbird premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival where it won the Best First Canadian Feature. It also won the Best Canadian feature at the Vancouver International Film Festival. This year it won the Claude Jutra Award at the Canadian Screen Awards.
Jury comments: Haunting. Compelling, topical story. Solid conventional drama with excellent cinematography. The visual bleakness makes the action more convincing. The film has had a strong reception. Screenings in schools help it to reach its most important audience.
Jason Buxton is a writer-director with twenty years’ experience in the film and television industry. His short films, A Fresh Start, The Garden, and The Drawing, have shown at the Toronto International Film Festival and Clermont-Ferrand, among others. His debut feature film, Blackbird, premiered to high acclaim at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival, where it won Best First Canadian Festure. Blackbird also won Best Canadian Feature at the 2012 Vancouver International Film Festival, the Claude Jutra Award at the 2013 Canadian Screen Awards, and the Grand Prix in the Ecrans Juniors section of the Cannes Film Festival.
Mr. Buxton is currently developing The Misery of Others, a feature film based on stories from the Giller-shortlisted collection Whirl Away, by Russell Wangersky.
Mr. Buxton studied film at Simon Fraser University and is a BFA graduate of the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design. He lives in Nova Scotia.